Showing posts from June, 2021

Drumburgh Castle

  Decoration above entrance to Drumburgh Castle This evening, I am posting information on an interesting castle located on the English side of the Solway Firth border with Scotland, about ten miles west of Carlisle. The Solway Firth is a firth (bay or estuary) that forms part of the border between England and Scotland, between Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway. It stretches from St Bees Head, just south of Whitehaven in Cumbria, to the Mull of Galloway, on the western end of Dumfries and Galloway. It’s the third largest estuary in the UK and is a Special Area of Conservation, comprised of coastal dunes, salt marshes, raised mires and agricultural land. . View of Solway Firth, from England towards Scotland   This castle is, technically, a 'bastle' or fortified farmhouse which was built around 1307. Important aspects: The building was fortified because the period between the 14th and 17th centuries was lawless in the Borders region and the occupants were forced to defend thems

George Stephenson: A key influence on the Industrial Revolution

 [   George Stephenson's Birthplace, Wylam, England This evening, I am focusing on George Stephenson (1781-1848)  who was one of the principal figures in the engineering sector during the Industrial Revolution in England. Key facts and information: Born into a poor, coal mining family who occupied just one room of the above house which is located about nine miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in N.E. England. His parents were illiterate. George did not commence his education until age 17. He paid for lessons from earnings as an engineman at a coal mine. Worked as a brakeman, controlling colliery winding gear. Became expert in steam-driven machinery. Invented a miner's safety lamp. Designed his first steam locomotive in 1814, for use at Killingworth Colliery. Improved design of cast iron rails to carry steam locomotives. Was involved in the design of the Stockton to Darlington Railway which opened in 1825 with wagons pulled by his engine, Locomotion. Built first public, inter-cit

One Day Tour of Southern England

 This evening, I am reprising one day out of an extended tour of sites in England. [c Tour group at Castle Combe, Wiltshire This morning, July 12th., we departed our lodgings in Bath and drove about 1 hour east to Castle Combe. Latter is a ''picture postcard' village near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Castle Combe comprises a small community of stone built houses which date back hundreds of years. At the foot of the village is a stream whilst in the centre is St Andrew Church parts of which date from the 13th and 15th centuries. Castle Combe Churchyard   Castle Combe Castle Combe Next, we drove west to Buckfast Abbey in Devon. The current building dates from period 1882-1938 and houses a community of Benedictine monks. Architecture is 'Norman Transitional and Early English'. This Abbey is built on the site of an earlier abbey dating from 1018-1539 which, post Dissolution of the Monasteries, fell into ruin and was ultimately demolished.   Inside Buckfast Abbey Lavend

HMS. Defender

Cognizant of the recent 'incident' involving the Russians in the Black Sea, I am reprising a post from 2013 when members of the public were allowed on board HMS Defender. The warship is the 5th of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She is the 8th ship to bear the name. Construction was undertaken between 2006 and 2009.       HMS Defender at Glasgow, Scotland Today, I took the opportunity to visit HMS Defender, a brand new Type 45 Destroyer which was accepted into the British Fleet in March and should be ready for regular duties by Easter 2014, after completing sea trials.  The vessel has a special connection with Glasgow because it was built on the Clyde, close to where it is moored. Opportunity to tour the vessel arose due to the vessel paying a brief, goodwill visit to Glasgow during which the ship's company attended a reception in Glasgow City Chambers to honour the ship's association with the city. Here is summary informatio

Tour of historic sites in northern England

Using Hexham as a base the tour embraced a Roman era theme with a diversion down to Durham to visit the magnificent Norman/Romanesque Cathedral. Brunton Turret Brunton Turret First we visited Brunton Turret which is one of the best preserved turrets on the line of Hadrian's Wall, with a stretch of wall 70 yards long. A turret was a small watch tower, incorporated into the curtain wall of  Hadrian's Wall . The turrets were normally spaced at intervals of one-third of a Roman mile (equivalent to 495 metres (541 yd)) between milecastles, giving two Turrets between each milecastle. Brunton Turret was built by men of the Twentieth Legion. Chesters Roman Fort Chesters Roman Fort Next to Chesters Roman Fort (Cilurnum) on Hadrian's Wall This fort is located about 36 miles east of Carlisle. Chesters was one of a number of principal forts built to enhance defences of the Wall and provide a base for offensive, northward strikes into enemy territory to the north. The Wall straddled

Falkland, Scotland

 Introduction This evening, I am reporting on the historic village (pop 1160) of Falkland in Fife eastern Scotland. Landscape view of Falkland Information on Falkland Location is 21 miles S.W.of St. Andrews and 40 miles N. of Edinburgh. Falkland was Scotland's first conservation village and is home to more than 100 listed buildings. The street layout is typical medieval. The Victorian gothic Bruce fountain sits at the centre of the main square which is dominated by the impressive parish church (Presbyterian). The name indicates early connections with the sport of Falconry.   Centre of Falkland with fountain in centre. Another aspect of the centre of Falkland Falkland Palace This was the country residence of Scotland's royal dynasty known as the Stuarts. Mary, Queen of Scots (a Stuart) was a frequent visitor. The palace was acquired in the 14th century then rebuilt in Renaissance style in the early 16th century. Later, in the 17th century, the building was accidentally destroy